Nearly a third of businesses in the UK do not offer any professional training or development to their employees, according to the findings of a new study.

MPA Group found that a quarter of office workers invest no time in learning skills, and 9% last worked on their professional development five years ago.

Project management (41%) was the most popular upskill that UK businesses currently invest in, with over a third of business also investing time in training staff in communication skills (37%) and writing skills (33%).

The best professions for offering employees opportunity to learn new skills or invest time in training research and development are:

  • Finance (88%)
  • HR/ recruitment (82%)
  • Civil servant (81%)
  • Lawyer (78%)
  • Accounts (77%)
  • Creative/ design (74%)
  • Emergency services (72%)
  • IT (68%)
  • Sales (68%)
  • Operational (64%)
  • Administration (61%)
  • Marketing & PR (58%)
When asked how much time per week companies allow workers to invest in training and research and development, over a third (35%) said less than two hours a week, with just 3% of employees allowing workers to invest seven hours a week - the equivalent of one average working day.
Lack of budget (52%) was named the biggest barrier for workplaces allowing staff members to spend time upskilling, followed by lack of budget (50%) and staff development not being a business priority (28%).
Mike Price, director at MPA Group, said: “Employees are any businesses most valuable assets, so it is important that all businesses, no matter what industry, allow workers to invest time in learning new skills or training that will support their career. Not only will this support staff morale and satisfaction levels, it can have a huge impact on your business, particularly investing time in research and development.
“The biggest single barrier for businesses is the lack of budget. Using the government R&D Tax Credit initiative has helped thousands of businesses claim back up to 33% of costs invested into research and development, creating the cash required to allow them to invest in their people.”